tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN August 22, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
if it gets any worse, we're all probably going to have to relocate up out of here. we do want justice. don't get us wrong. get the agitators out of here. we want justice but in a right way, peaceful way. we want to respect the family of michael brown. they're going through enough as it is. >> reporter: those are george howell reporting. for our viewers around the world, stay tuned for "news center." and for our viewers here in the united states, the ""newsroom"with brooke baldwin starts right now. all right, don. thank you so much. hi, i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for joining me on this friday. we will take you to ferguson here momentarily. i want to just pause and go straight to the deputy national security adviser for president obama. this is a quote, unquote, white house briefing. not the white house. the president is on martha's vineyard. that's where this is taking place. they're addressing russia-ukraine right now. what we're listening for what
the white house will say as far as isis is concerned. let's dip in. >> isis can only be defeated if a fight is taken in syria. is that -- does the president agree with that? and if so, how does he intend to undertake it, and would it mean a significant change in the mission against islamic state? >> we certainly agree any strategy to deal with the isil organization has to deal with both sides of the border, iraq and syria. the strategy that we are already undertaking does address that. in the sense that we are providing training and equipment and assistance to the iraqi security forces and kurdish security forces fighting them on the ground in iraq. we are also providing support and military assistance to the moderate syrian opposition. what we would like to see is those -- those efforts squeeze the space where isil operates. but there are other elements to our strategy. one is to enlist the support of partners in the region and the
international community. because this poses a significant threat not just to the united states, and to the iraqi and syrian people, but to the entire region. and there are things we can do with partners to mobilize communities, in places like iraq, to work to expel isil. then there's the question of u.s. military action. and the president has already authorized u.s. military action on the very specific missions of protecting our people and personnel, and our facilities in baghdad and erbil. he's also authorized military action to deal with the humanitarian crisis on mt. sinjar. again, as we look ahead, and look forward, we are going to do what is necessary to protect americans. and so if we see plotting against americans, we see a threat to the united states emanating from anywhere, we stand ready to take action against that threat. we have made very clear time and again that if you come after americans, we're going to come after you, wherever you are. and that's what's going to guide our planning in the days to
come. steve? >> has the president signed off on air strikes against isil in syria? >> well, again, i don't want to get ahead of decisions. the president hasn't, you know, been presented with specific militant options outside of those that are carrying out the current missions in iraq. but we would certainly look at what is necessary in the long term to make sure we're protecting americans. again, the long-term strategy is going to have to involve people on the ground taking the fight to isil. and that is iraqi and kurdish forces. that is syrians who we are supporting on the ground. but if we have a need to protect americans, and to take action in -- when we see plotting against the united states and our interests, we'll reserve the right to do so. but i'm not going to get ahead of those decisions. >> is it fair to say you're actively considering air strikes against isil targets in syria? >> well, again, you heard the president say we will be relentless against isil. and we will do what's necessary to protect americans and see
that justice is done for what we saw with the barbaric killing of jim foley. so we're actively considering what's going to be necessary to deal with that threat. and we're not going to be restricted by borders. we have shown time and again that if there is a counterterrorism threat, we'll take direct action against that threat, if necessary. >> last thing. on ukraine, the russian convoy. do you see that as a direct invasion of ukraine? >> at this appointment, again, we see this as part of a pattern of a flagrant violation of ukrainian sovereignty. a direct incursion into their territory. they continue to have masses of military forces on the border, too. that would be a further escalation, were they to move into ukraine. we're giving the russians a clear message that they need to remove this convoy from inside of ukraine's borders. if they don't, we will be making determinations with our international partners about how to ratchet up the costs and consequences on them. clearly, again, this is not
something that is started today. from the arming and training of russian-backed separatists to the shootdown of mh-17, we have seen escalation, and that escalation in a dangerous way. the russians should take a path to deescalation. if they don't, they're going to find themselves further isolatedness, not just from the people of eastern ukraine but the entire world. >> the way the administration and yourself is talking about isis today, it seems like a big jump from what the president himself said in january. calling isis jb players. would you still agree with his assessment just a few months ago? >> i think what the president was speaking to a few months ago was the fact of the matter is, you have many different groups operating across the middle east and north africa. as we shift from a situation in which the counterterrorism threat principally emanateded from an al qaeda core, we are going to need to evaluate which groups pose a threat to the united states, which groups pose a threat to our personnel in the
region and which groups are more localized, militia type forces potentially dangerous but can be handled by local security forces. clearly, isil, which has a long history and an origin dating back to aqi, al qaeda in iraq, has gained capacity in the last several months. as the fighting in syria has given them some safe haven there. and as they have advanced across iraq and gained heavy weaponry. and as they have become better funded through various funding strea streamsing, including what they're able to sell in terms of oil and gas, the ransoms they have been able to obtain. and that has developed their capacity in a way that has increased the threat. and they pose a greater threat today than they did six months ago and we're taking it very seriously. that includes the direct military action we're taking in iraq. that includes the support -- increased support we have provided to the iraqi and kurdish forces and to the syrian opposition. and we're going to do what's necessary to deal with this
counterterrorism challenge. kristen? >> ben, thanks. former cia deputy director mike more rely said of james foley's death, quote, this is isis' first terrorist attack against the united states. do you agree with that assessment? is that a terrorist attack against the united states? >> well, absolutely. when you see somebody killed in such a horrific way. that represents a terrorist attack. that represents a terrorist attack against our country and against an american citizen. and i think all of us have the foley family in our thoughts and prayers. the fact of the matter is, we have actually seen, you know, isil seek to advance too close to our facilities. certainly for our own comfort. and so the president's decision to take military action a number of weeks ago was out of direct concern if they were able to get into erbil, they could pose a threat to our personnel and consulate there. so we have seen them pose a threat to our interests in the
region, to our personnel and facilities in the region, and clearly, the brutal execution of jim foley represented an affront, an attack, not just on him, but he's an american, and we see that as an attack on our country when one of our own is killed like that. >> how would you assess the threat they pose to americans living in the united states? do you take their threats seriously? >> well, kristen, we have to take their threats seriously. to date, they have operated much like an insurgency in syria and iraq. and again, they're deeply rooted in the insurgency as the legacy organization of al qaeda and iraq. and they, of course, pose a huge threat to the people of that region. and it's important to underscore, as the president did the other day, that it's not simply the threat they pose to the united states. it's the threat they pose to the entire world. and they have killed thousands of civilians, and they have
killed muslims. more than any other faith. so whatever pretense they have to establish themselves as speaking for the muslim world, i think is completely disproven by their actions in that part of the world. for americans in the homeland, i think what we would say, we monitor very closely whether or not isil will seek to develop plots that are aimed at the west, aimed at beyond this geographic area where they have been operating. we are doing that. we are actively consulting with european partners about how to watch the threat they could pose to the west. we take their threats seriously, because we have to take every threat that's made against the united states seriously. and we're going to deal with that through our -- again, the action and strategy we have in the region to squeeze them. we're also dealing with it through homeland security and the president is going to convene at the head of state level, a u.n. security council meeting in september to deal with the issue of foreign
fighters who are heading to syria, because we're concerned about the ability of foreign fighters to come from western countries and seek to come back. >> and could they pull off a 9/11 size attack? >> look, to date, we have not seen them focus on that type of planning. but that doesn't mean we're not going to be very mindful that they could quickly aim to pivot to attacks outside the western region. and so, again, this is something we're going to monitor very closely, because we certainly take seriously the fact this is an organization that has a cadre of fighters who are clearly willing to do horrific things, as we saw in that video. and as we have seen as a massacre -- innocent civilians in iraq. they have significant stream of funding that they have acquired over the last year or two. and, again, if they show the intent or they show plotting against the united states, we'll be prepared to deal with that as
necessary. john? >> yeah, the bigger picture of what we're doing in iraq. is the united states now engaged in a broad counterterrorism effort to defeat isil? >> the iraqi government is certainly the front of an effort to defeat isil inside of iraq. and we're providing them with support in order to do that. i think the strategy is one that we want to evict isil from their safe havens and squeeze the space they're operating in. and ultimately, push them out of that space. our contribution to that will come in many ways. it comes in the form of the air strikes that are protecting baghdad and erbil. that have given space for iraqi forces to push forward against isil. it comes in the form of military assistance and advice and intelligence sharing we have with iraqi and kurdish forces on the ground. it comes with our political support in service of a new
inclusive iraqi government which should be able to broaden the coalition of isil so we see more of iraq's neighbors working with, for instance, sunni communities to evict isil. so this is going to have to be a team effort. but we have very unique capabilities we can bring to bear and supporting those on the ground who are working to fight against isil and the front lines. >> basic question. is it the objective of the u.s. efforts here to defeat isil? is that a u.s. objective? >> look, absolutely, in the long term. our objective would be to see an organization like isil defeated. our military objectives -- i'm separating out the fact we have military objectives the president has articulated that aim to protect our facilities in iraq and prevent this humanitarian catastrophe. in that long-term strategy of working for the defeat of isil, we will participate not just through our military action, but through our training and eequipping of iraqi security forces, kurdish security forces
on the ground. because ultimately, they are the ones who are going to have to work to evict isil from their communities, and, again, their efforts to form an inclusive government in iraq i think will go a long way towards enlisting the support of those communities who have been somewhat disaffected from the government. >> the response to jim foley's brother, pretty emotional comments. he said, and i quote, the united states could have done more on behalf of the western and american hostages over there. >> well, first of all, our hearts go out to mr. foley and the entire foley family. i cannot imagine how it must feel to lose a loved one and to lose a loved one in such a horrible way. and i certainly understand that any family would want to make sure that we are moving heaven and earth to find and bring home american hostages. i can assure you that we have done everything that we can possibly do to try to bring home
our hostages. it's an incredibly difficult circumstance in a place like syria, again, where you have such violent conflict raging. but we have used all of our military intelligence, diplomatic resources we can bring to bear to try to pull through, find out where our hostages are, to try to rescue them. when we saw an opportunity. to try to work with any country that might have any means of locating them. and tragically, we weren't able to rescue mr. foley. but we're going to keep trying for all of our hostages, not just in syria, but around the world. >> do you know how many american hostages are being held by isil? >> john, we don't want to put out a specific number out of respect there are sensitivities involved with that. a small number of hostages are held within syria. and we're going to continue to do what have we can to try to bring them home. every day that they're in custody there is a day that they're at risk. major? >> the white house and president
said the goal is to contain isil. the secretary of state two days later said the goal was to destroy isil. which is it? how far and how long are we prepared to carry out whichever campaign it is? >> well, major, i think the president has spoken to the fact that our military objectives in iraq right now are limited to protecting our personnel facilities and addressing this humanitarian crisis. we have to be clear that this is a deeply rooted organization. they have been there for ten years. when you go back to aqi. it is going to take time, a long time, to fully evict them from the communities where they operate. we can do things, though, in the immediate term to address the threat to the united states and our people. and to push them back and to give space for these security forces who are taking the fight to them. we can create a conscious coalition that can support iraqis and their efforts to squeeze isil. and that's what we're doing. but it's going to take time when
you talk about an objective like the ultimate defeat of isil. it's going to take time to dislodge a group that has been operating in this part of the world for the better part of a decade in an insurgency. what we can do is address the threat to the united states, give these security forces the space they need, go on the offense, push them out of the communities they're in, and then work towards that ultimate goal of defeating isil. and as the president said the other day, major, this is a cancer that has to be eradicated. and that's how we look at this. we have to have our near-term goals that put the safety of americans front and center. and then in the long term, working with our partners to defeat this organization. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> well, i think, obviously, by definition, major, you need an immediate term to contain the threat. so, yes, but as you're doing that, you need to make sure that if is there a threat to the american people, that we have the ability to take action. and that's what the president did, for instance, when they were bearing down on our facilities in erbil. but we are already pushing them back. you saw after we began our air
strikes, for instance, the kurdish forces with our support were able to make advances. and to retake a big piece of critical infrastructure in iraq, the mosul dam. that's the dynamic we're seeking to foster that allows those forces on ground to go on the offense. [ inaudible question ] >> obviously the role continues to mount in severity. what gre degree is the presiden briefed on that? sending official assets to the region. [ inaudible question ] >> so we always look at whatever resource is necessary to deal with an outbreak like ebola that we have seen. we have prioritized getting people and resources on the ground in places likely beer and
sierra leone. there are clear steps we believe they can take to contain the outbreak and make sure people are getting appropriate care. that's what we focused on with the cdc and other u.s. agencies. and if there are opportunities for us to do additional things, we'll review those. but the best solution in our mind is to put the public health infrastructure in place in those countries to contain this outbreak, treat those who are suffering from it, and ensure it doesn't spread beyond their borders. [ inaudible question ] >> i don't have any updates for you on additional military resources. we focused on public health resources to date. last one, i'll take mike. >> when the president announced of the air strikes in iraq, he came to the american people and made a statement that he laid out a specific case for what was happening, what's going to happen and what's not going to happen. do you all believe that that case that he made then covers
what he might do in syria, as well? both from a -- kind of public relations perspective what he needs to tell the american people and then on the legal side, are there things -- if you all decide to take military action in syria, along the lines that you just talked about to protect american interests in the united states or international, he would have to seek to do that? >> well, on your first question, mike, look, the president always keeps the american people updated about the status of any military action and major foreign policy, national security actions. even since he announced those air strikes earlier this month, i would note he has spoken a number of times to developments in iraq and developments associated with our efforts against isil. so clearly, i think any additional action that he would take is one he would explain to the american people, whether
it's in iraq or anywhere else. and we will keep the american people fully informed. and i think the american people understand that this president is very deliberate about the use of force. he doesn't rush towards a military option. he takes very seriously when we put u.s. military action on the table, when we have our pilots flying missions like the air strikes undertaking iraq. however, i think the american people also understand that there are some threats that had to be dealt with. and we're dealing with the threat from isil in iraq by protecting our people there. and as we have done against al qaeda around the world, we'll take whatever action is necessary to pregnant our people. to protect our people. and president obama has shown he will do that, whether in pakistan, with the bin laden operation in yemen and somali, we will take direct action against terrorists who threaten the united states, even as we develop long-term solutions that empower partners on the ground.
with respect to legal matters, i wouldn't want to prejudge an action we haven't taken. i would say that the actions we're taking in iraq are obviously at the irritation of the iraqi government and the president's constitutional authority. the action we took to try to rescue hostages in syria was entirely legal, of course, because we were seeking to save americans from imminent danger. and that is at the core of justification for military action. i think that any additional actions we take, we would want to consult with congress. >> but, i mean, it seems you -- about iraq, you were invited in. in syria, that obviously wouldn't be the case. isn't there a distinction? >> i don't want to speak hypothetically about an action we haven't taken. but to take the example of what we did, you don't need to be invited in if you're trying to rescue your people from imminent danger. that was the basis for the action we took to try to rescue
our hostages. going forward, we would obviously have a legal justification for any action we take. and i do want to be clear, we would consult with congress. this is, again, a problem that we have to deal with as a nation. and so whether it's our ongoing operations in iraq or additional steps that may need to be taken against isil, we would carry those out in very close consultation with congress about their support and their role in providing support for our efforts. thanks. >> the policy of not paying ransom for hostages. >> yeah. we obviously understand that americans who have loved ones who are in harm's way want to do anything to try to bring them home. and we provide support in any way we can with our military, our diplomacy, intelligence resources, law enforcement resources. but as a matter of policy, we do not provide ransom or any
funding for terrorist organizations. we feel very strongly that it is not the right policy for governments to support the payment of ransom to terrorist organizations. in the long run, what that does is, it provides additional funding to these terrorist organizations, which allows them to expand their operations. it incentivizes the kidnapping of foreigners in ways we have seen, frankly, with organizations like isil and some the al-qaeda fill yacht. so again, as a matter of policy, i think the u.s. government remains absolutely committed to the notion that we will not provide funding for terrorist organizations that we believe -- that only creates perverse incentives for those terrorist organizations going forward, and a source of funding. and we want to cut off and choke off their resources of funding. what we will do is use all the resources of the u.s. government to try to find and if possible bring home those americans who
are missing. and as i said, that will include our military, our intelligence, our law enforcement, and our diplomacy. thanks. >> all right. that was ben rhodes, deputy national security adviser for the president of the united states there speaking from martha's vineyard. really focusing much -- that's because of the questions that were thrown at him from members of the media about isis. all of this in the wake of this horrendo horrendous, evil beheading of american journalist, james foley early this week. so a couple headlines. let me just -- what i noticed is he did corroborate. he was asked whether he agrees with the former deputy of the cia, chief, mike morelle and he says yes, indeed, this was the first terrorist attack on the united states from isis and said that the president, you know -- a lot of questions both to the secretary of defense yesterday when we were watching that pentagon meeting and again to ben roads. would the president consider signing off on u.s. air strikes in syria. no real definitive answer, echoing what we heard from the
secretary of defense. we'll explore all options. let's stay on isis. there has been a starkly worded warning about the threat to this country from isis. and this is the warning being usual you'd from the highest ranks of the pentagon and pretty much speaks for itself. >> this is an organization that has an apocalyptic end of days strategic vision, which will eventually have to be defeated. >> they have no standard of decency, of responsible human behavior. >> isn't the calculation that isil presents a 9/11-level threat to the united states? >> jim, isil is a sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen. they're beyond just a terrorist group. oh, this is beyond anything that we have seen. so we must prepare for everything. and the only way you do that is you take a cold, steely, hard
look at it and get ready. >> it's an immediate threat. that is to say the fighters who may leave the current fight and migrate home. >> as we said, the words that really speak for themselves here from the top brass there from the d.o.d. and the words of joint chiefs chairman martin dempsey, "isis must be defeated" and then you also heard from the secretary of defense, chuck hagel. we have never seen anything like this. and he is saying, we have to get ready. with me now from los angeles, one of our go-to guys, bob baer, former cia. bob, given all of how they're stressing, again, this is beyond anything we have ever seen, you heard in the q & a a moment ago in the vineyard our own white house correspondent, michelle kosinski, saying hang a second, it was the president six ago making that jv comment. and here you have this potential 9/11-level threat. did someone drop the ball six months ago here? >> oh, the ball was dropped, absolutely. i wouldn't blame the white house. the problem was, brooke, for the
last couple years, we have been listening to maliki in baghdad, talking to a shia government, who has down played the sunni threat, downplayed isis, downplayed what was happening in anbar province and we looked the other way and listened to him and it was a terrible mistake. and i think we can flablame the state department for that in the first place. and now we have seen this. i have been talking to the sunnis in anbar province, and i said what is going on with isis? and they said look, we are aligned with them. we don't share their ideology. we certainly don't share their attacks on the united states. but right now we are going to kafb out a homeland for the sunni and iraq and we are working together. and until we get that homeland, we are. this is a major change that has occurred since the awakening, which we missed. yes, it's an intelligence failure. >> so then is the u.s. going to war with isis, and not just in iraq, bob, but syria?
>> we have to go into syria. we have to go into raqqa, where they are headquartered. we have to decapitate this organization. there is no way that it can be allowed to survive. i totally agree with the administration. it tends to do us violence, whether it's europe or in this country, whether it can or not is another question. i don't have the information to answer that. but it will do us violence. whether it's capable of doing another 9/11, i don't know that either. but when the secretary of defense opens that possibility, it's scary. >> you talk about decapitating isis and i've heard you use that word before. you just heard ben rhodes say, this organization is deeply rooted, been in this region for ten years, so it will take a long time to evict them. i mean, first, you have containment, then destruction. it's not just the u.s., you need help from the front. but who? >> oh, absolutely. we need the kurds. we need to arm the kurds. i know that's distasteful to
baghdad, but they're doing quite well against isis. we need to arm the sunnis, who are against isis. that's going to be distasteful. and we need to keep the shia out of anbar province. and we need to -- you know, we need to bring in the joint special operations command. this is an enemy who tends to do us harm. and if they need to go into syria to decapitate this organization, we have to do it. i don't see another way. i don't like conflict in the middle east, because it's always messy. we always get it wrong. but in this case, we're dealing with a new beast that's got to be taken care. >> a cancer that needs to be eradicated, according to president obama. bob baer, thank you, as always. very much. and as we have been telling the story of isis, it's affected a great number of people in iraq and also syria. thousands of men and women, children, fleeing the violence each and every day. if you would like to help, you actually can. you can help these refugees in iraq. go to our impact your world website, cnn.com/impact. you'll find links to charities
helping those refugees in iraq with medical supplies and humanitarian aid. cnn.com/impact. to ferguson, missouri, now, where there are now questions around the main witness to michael brown's shooting. the eyewitness here, dorian johnson. is his past relevant? plus, a new witness coming forward, speaking to cnn. does his account contradict the others? and news just in on dash cams involving ferguson police officers. stay right with me. you're watching cnn.
big day? ah, the usual. moved some new cars. hauled a bunch of steel. kept the supermarket shelves stocked. made sure everyone got their latest gadgets. what's up for the next shift? ah, nothing much. just keeping the lights on. (laugh) nice. doing the big things that move an economy. see you tomorrow, mac. see you tomorrow, sam. just another day at norfolk southern.
just past the bottom of the hour on this friday afternoon. i'm brooke baldwin. progress to report in ferguson, and not just on the streets, but also within the police force. the first dash cam has been installed inside a ferguson police patrol unit. >> we are! >> mike brown! >> we are! >> mike brown! >> after a night where the message and not mayhem dominated the streets of ferguson, missouri. authorities report a handful of arrests, just seven. however, a key eyewitness who
saw officer darren wilson shoot and kill michael brown may be facing some credibility issues. dorian johnson was with brown at the time of the shooting. he said he was also in the line of the officer's fire. and that brown had his hands up when he was shot and killed. now cnn has obtained a 2011 police record from jefferson city, missouri, that shows johnson was charged with theft and making a false report. he allegedly gave officers a fake name. so let me bring in cnn's legal analyst, sunny hostin and danny cevallos. given this new information, previous run-in, arrest with the law, is it pertinent with regard to this case? >> well, i don't think it's pertinent. the bottom line is, he -- you know, as a prosecutor, i can't begin to tell you how many people i put on the witness stand that had criminal histories. oftentimes, people that are out late at night, unfortunately, witnessing crimes are usually people that, you know, may not have the best criminal history. that doesn't mean they didn't see what they saw. so i think what we are seeing
now is the narrative trying to be changed. michael brown is now thug afied. dorian johnson, not credible. he too is thug-a-fied. and we see that happen in these kinds of cases. and i hate to say that race is coming into this, but i very much believe this is not a -- has not been a transparent investigation. and race does seem to be playing a part. >> interesting the way you put it, thug-a-fied. i've had a number of commentators on the show saying it's the criminalization of a victim and this is another example. looking at your face, danny cevallos, do you disagree? >> there has been a lot of talk about whether dorian johnson's past is fair to talk about. fortunately for us, the missouri rules of evidence couldn't be clearer. and the rule is this. if you have a prior conviction, that conviction can come in to impeach a witness and attack their credibility. however, a prior arrest is not necessarily a conviction. and arrests may not be used to impugn the credibility of a witness. so fortunately, we have a rule
that we can fall back on. all the discussion about whether or not it's fair to hold someone's criminal past against them is an interesting discussion for the coffee house. but in the courthouse, the rules in missouri couldn't be clearer. >> okay. what about the news today that the dash cams are finally being put in these patrol cars in ferguson, missouri, right? >> a little late. >> wouldn't it have -- there are all these different accounts, and you know, being lawyers, everyone sort of tells a different story. but wouldn't it have made this -- i don't know if crystal clear would be accurate, but it would have changed the game. pictures don't lie. >> it wouldn't have been crystal-clear, though, i think we can agree on that. sometimes they don't have audit crow and sometimes the angle isn't, you know, appropriate and ideal. but i do believe, and i'm a huge supporter of dash cam recorders. i'm a huge supporter of police officers wearing body cams. i think it not only protects victims and witnesses, it also protects law enforcement. it protects officers, because it's not just their version of events. it's all on video.
>> we can talk about shouldn't we have had dash cams before. let me let everybody in on a little fact. police departments are not like the apple store. they're not -- some of them are still using typewriters, using computer systems that are old. they're not the most updated systems in police departments. >> there is a trend now. >> it's a great -- listen, i'm a criminal defense attorney. i think the defense bar would say, overall, all these video cameras and mostly the benefit of the prosecution. that being said, it certainly does lean more towards the truth when you have a video as opposed to someone's narrative. >> but it's not like it would ever replace an eyewitness account or a witness account. >> i think it would do better. >> it would complement. >> i think it would complement. i don't think it would do better. we have been talking this past week a lot about witness creditability and how eye-witnesses aren't credible. i really, really think that's a very dangerous place to go. prosecutors put everyday people on the witness stand at their peril. oftentimes they are terrified to do that. and they do it and do it as a community service by getting on
the witness stand. and so video is fine. but eyewitness testimony is crucial in our prosecution today. >> criminal defense attorneys everywhere have been burned, buried by images, videos, pictures that clients put up on their facebook page. overall, video imaging is better quality evidence. people lie. things do not lie. >> too bad the dash cams weren't there 12 days ago. sunny and danny, thank you both very much. next, we'll speak live with a st. louis alderman about monday's upcoming funeral for michael brown and whether children will be going back to school in that community. plus, a new witness is coming forward, speaking to cnn. speaking of all these different accounts, does his version of events, does it contradict the others? back after this. (male announcer) it's happening. today, more and more people with type 2 diabetes are learning about long-acting levemir®, an injectable insulin that can give you blood sugar control for up to 24 hours.
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to go the distance with you. call now to request your free decision guide. this easy-to-understand guide will answer some of your questions and help you find the aarp medicare supplement plan that's right for you. i really like to focus on the young people, the children in ferguson, missouri. because a lot of them want to know why can't they go back to school? why are the streets blocked off? ferguson schools, so far, are still empty. classes were postponed for at least a week in the wake of protests over the killing of 18-year-old michael brown. who graduated from a nearby school just a couple months ago. after brown's death, ferguson streets were filled with prot t protesters, national guardsmen instead of school children toting backpacks.
a mother worries about the impact this is having on the young people there. >> they're going to have post traumatic syndrome from this. it's like they're in a war zone. i don't want to introduce my 5-year-old to anything like that. i feel that's too much for him. >> let me bring in st. louis alderm alderman, antonio french, very outspoken in his calls for justice in ferguson. mr. french, welcome. >> hi, thanks. >> you heard that mother. she said ptsd. talking about the children in that community. i mean, how worried are you that a seed of distrust has now been planted in the minds of innocent people that you can't trust police? >> yeah, i don't think that's an exaggeration. i think the experiences of the last 12, 13 days has taken a toll on the young people. not being in school, seeing these images on television. and in many cases, having their neighborhoods and apartments tear gassed in the evening. there's going to be a lot of
work to be done over the next few weeks and months and even years to repair the damage that's been done. and we just have to heal our community. and that's going to be a long, hard process. but we have to get to that work immediately. >> you know, before the healing can even begin, more immediately, there -- we're talking about food. a lot of the kids in your community, they rely on school breakfasts and lunches to eat. and now with the schools closed, mr. french, how are they getting fed? >> yeah, that's a big deal. a lot of kids, as you said, do go to school just for the meals sometimes. you know, the community has stepped up. there's an effort right now led by teach for america teachers being called teach for ferguson. they set up a makeshift school at the local library here. just yesterday, had over 160 children there. people brought meals and organizations brought food and all the kids were fed. and they were eager to go back to school. and eager for education. and also, eager to talk about
the events of the last 12 days to help process what's been happening. >> so for people who are listening, just hearing you teach for america, fantastic organization, they are there to help. looking ahead to monday, the day of michael brown's funeral, do you know if schools will reopen then? >> yeah, we've been informed that school will open monday. and as you mentioned, that's also the day of michael brown's funeral. we expect some events around town. we hope for peace. and i think we'll be prepared. a lot of the community leaders will be out here to help keep the crowds calm and directed to what this is about, which is demanding a trial and get all the evidence out there, and let's have justice prevail. >> so school -- so kids going back to school monday. michael brown's funeral monday. i understand the reverend, al sharpton, will be delivering the eulogy. antonio, do you know who else would be there? any other names we recognize?
>> i don't know the details of the funeral. i know that it's going to be very well attended. a lot of people are eager to go, and express their sympathies to this family and show their support. >> all right. antonio french, thank you so much for stopping by our cnn camera there in ferguson, missouri. just ahead, police say michael brown struggled with the officer before being shot. but that's not what one independent autopsy says. so what happened and what exactly do doctors look at during an autopsy to find those answers? we will take you inside. and coming up next, anderson cooper's emotional interview with michael brown's parents. hear what they want and whether they will ever be able to trust the police again. stay here. you're driving along,
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michael brown's parents say they want the grand jury to take as long as jurors need to, quote, unquote, get it right. leslie mcfadden and mike brown senior sat down with anderson cooper to talk about their grief for their son and the need for justice. >> he was a teenager. he was growing up, he was only 18. he had a chance to make a mistake and correct it. just like the officer. he had a choice. and he chose the wrong one.
and was it really necessary? no. my son is only 18. only 18. he was special to me. he was ours. he was peaceful. he was humble. he didn't ask for that. he didn't deserve that. and it was wrong. and i'm going to always love him, just how he was. and nothing they say can change the way i feel about him. because they didn't know him. like we knew him. so nothing you can say is going to ever make me understand what happened. ever. everybody has got a past. he was only 18. >> he had his whole life ahead of him.
>> that's right. >> when the authorities release that video, surveillance video from the convenience store, do you feel that was a way of -- change people's perception of your son? >> they are trying to cover something up. i didn't go for none of that. the point of the matter is, that officer killed and gunned down our son. even if he did -- even if that was the case, he still didn't deserve to get gunned down like he got gunned down. >> it should change the way -- this is the right and wrong issue. he was wrong. >> for a kid that's taught to honor, respect the police officer of his job and duties, and to respect him and to get done like that, it's just wrong.
>> that's one of the things you tried to teach your son about how to interact with police. >> yes. yes. >> you had conversations about this? >> yes. >> ain't that terrible? >> that you have to have that conversation? >> exactly. that you have to have that conversation. really? why? >> but that's a conversation you felt you had to have with your son. >> yeah. >> what was that conversation? >> well, for one, we -- my son has always been a big guy. he's always -- mistaken to be older than what he is. and for that matter, i felt he needed to be taught how to interact with a police officer. because for one, they would think he's older than what he is. and he's not. you know? he was 16, looked like he was 21. 18, he looks like he's almost 24. but the case of the matter, he's 18. you know? >> and the police just profile
you. you know? >> just -- >> all along, you have been very clear that you don't want violence from these protests. and you don't want anything to distract from what happened to your son. what's your message to protesters now? >> this looting and all this other stuff is not helping. it's not helping our boy. it's doing nothing but -- you know, causing more pain. plus it's shaming his name. >> michael brown's parents talking to anderson. by the way, you can watch the whole thing. go to cnn.com and michael brown's mother saying her son didn't have a chance to grow up. just ahead, rapper and author, coolio joins me live on the situation in ferguson and says he's lucky he lived past 22 years of age. plus the pentagon warning the group that beheaded an american is quote, unquote,
beyond any threat they have ever seen. but also stunning, the suggestion that the united states may need to strike isis inside of syria to defeat them. is that imminent? stay with me. you're watching cnn's special live coverage. ♪ (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities.
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>> after a night where the message and not the mayhem dominated the streets of ferguson, protests ended early. authorities report a handful of arrests, just seven. i should also tell you, today, the national guard is beginning to pull out of town. back on monday, michael brown, unarmed teenager, killed by police nearly two weeks ago, will be laid to rest this upcoming monday. you're looking at video here from his graduation from high school. this is obtained by abc news. with the calm, even more focus goes on the case. and this just into the cnn newsroom here. racial and gender breakdown of the grand jury. 12 jurors in total. seven are male, five are female. and as far as racial breakdown, you have three african-american members of this grand jury, one man, two women. and nine are caucasian, six men, three women. so let me bring in cnn legal analyst,